For starters, it’s pronounced ‘roy-bus’ and is also known as red bush. This naturally caffeine-free herbal tea hails from the heart of South Africa. Specifically, it's derived from the Aspalathus linearis plant found predominantly in the Western Cape province. When the plant matures, around 20 months, its needle-like leaves are harvested between January and April. These leaves are fermented and dried, giving them a red-brown hue and a unique, sweet, earthy flavour when steeped in hot water. Rooibos is equally popular with or without milk.
Though commonly called "red tea" or "African red tea", rooibos is actually an herbal tisane and not derived from the camellia sinensis plant, the source of “true” tea. If someone corrects you for saying Rooibos Tea, perhaps it's time to reassess that friendship. Who needs that kind of negativity?
Rooibos boasts numerous potential health benefits from its high antioxidant content. For more on that, be sure to check out our extensive blog post on rooibos.
Being naturally caffeine-free, rooibos is perfect when you desire a tasty, calming beverage. Ideal for sipping during a mundane Zoom call, relaxing after dinner, or accompanying you while you enjoy some light TV.
Steep for 3-5 minutes in freshly boiled water, and voilà! Adjust steeping time for a lighter or richer flavour.